VI Driver's License Question
Do you have to surrender your stateside driver's license at the DMV to get a VI driver's license - or just show proof that you have a valid license? I don't want to give up my California license - might have to get a duplicate if that's the case!
That's a good idea. I've been here 10 months now and have been wavering on getting a license. It's definitely time I did and I'll get a duplicate Florida one too.
Do you have to surrender your stateside license AND show them your social security card? I haven't seen tthat thing since I was like 15. I heard you can order one in Nisky Center but has anyone done that? If so, how long does it take to get it?
I also couldn't find my SS card. I went to Nisky and ordered another one. It took a few weeks to arrive.
Word of advice. When the woman asked me why I needed a new card, I said I couldn't find my original. She asked if it was lost. I said that I couldn't find it-- perhaps it was in a box in storage in the States. Wrong answer. She said if I just couldn't find it she would not let me have a new one-- that the card had to be LOST lost. Good grief. She relented, though.
So, tell them you LOST it. The dog ate it. Flushed down the toilet. Flew out of your hand into the ocean while on the ferry. Anything except that you just can't find it right now.
Here's a good post by Jules with info about the procedure:
Just to note, it is illegal to have two driver's license at the same time. Don't carry both with you at anytime. That being said, it would be easier to tell CA that you lost your license and get another one there. Then you can give one of them to the VI to get a license instead of doing all the tests.
It IS illegal, and communication between the DMV of the USVI and the states has improved vastly over the last couple of years. So I wouldn't swear to anything (like you "lost" your license) in order to get a second license.
You should also make sure this (not having a valid license) will not void your car insurance.
I would not bank on your CA license remaining valid once you have received a VI license. Post 9/11 the Feds, in lieu of setting up a national ID card are forcing all US states and territories to improved the validity and quality of drivers licenses as a source of identification. That is why the VI changed the format of their driver's license. The new format meets the Federal standards.
As part of the process the state issuing a new license is supposed to notify the state that issued your prior license that you surrendered your prior license. The prior state is then supposed to confirm that your license was valid and not suspended or revoked. They are also supposed to cancel the driver's license in their data base. This process also prevents drunks, and drivers with multiple moving violations from obtaining multiple licenses.
If you get stopped while driving and present you CA license and everyone has done their job when the cop punches the licenses number into his computer your license won't come up as valid. If they really want to bust your chops then the VI and CA could charge you with perjury.
An additional problem will be that you probably won't be able to purchase auto insurance using the CA license. When the insurance company goes to check your driving record using a canceled driver's license number it isn't going to work.
If you don't have a passport and use the CA license as ID when traveling back to the mainland you could also have problems since the license isn't valid. You have in effect presented TSA with false identification. You might not be able to enter the US and/or you might go to jail.
robo, just curious, why is it such a big deal to keep your CA license? You can always get another if you go back. I assume it is sentimental? I fully understand Jules' perspective. A really good drivers license picture is hard to come by!
If you go back to CA., you could always "lose" your VI license. You might have to take all the tests, etc., but you would have a great memento of your time here.
I just went through all this on STX. The process was simple. I also had the dilemma of wanting the duplicate Ohio license before surrendering it to the VI. Oh well! When I went in to get the pic for the VI license I was impressed at the technology. I decided than and there not to report to Ohio that I had 'lost' my license. Besides, I live and work in the VI now.